Your alarm goes off at 5 a.m., and you bound out of bed (or stumble—whatever gets you going) to make it to your 5:30 boot-camp class. By 7, you’re showered, smoothie-d, and on your way to work. You’re a rockstar, a hero, a morning workout warrior. But by 3 p.m., maybe your cape is starting to fall off? Or, worst-case scenario: You’re toast (hello, uber-personal email accidentally sent it to your boss—and her boss).
What to do? It seems like one obvious answer is to sleep in and skip your morning workout more often—but a major a.m. shakeup actually isn’t necessary. According to new research, you can stay focused and productive all day with just 30 extra minutes of shut-eye.
And the University of California San Francisco study wasn’t looking at couch potatoes or people already getting the recommended-but-rare eight hours of shut-eye every night. To find participants, researchers went to the big leagues (literally)—by studying Major League baseball players.
Over the course of a four-week training camp, 17 players spent two nights sleeping the amount they normally would before being split into two groups: one group got five nights of extended sleep (from 6.3 hours to 6.9 hours) and the other got five nights of their regular amount of sleep, Entrepreneur reports.
Though it was only a 36-minute difference, that additional snooze time decreased the players’ levels of fatigue, tension, and daytime sleepiness by more than one-third—and the better-rested players showed a 13 percent improvement on a cognitive processing speed test.
So try making like a baseballer and skip the late-night Instagram scrolling in favor of getting to bed half an hour earlier tonight. You still have permission to hit that 5:30 a.m. fitness class—superhero cape optional.